Milanese & Lombardic Mandolin Makers   

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The Milanese and Lombardy Mandolin

    The 'mandolino', developed from tthe early C17, had a small slender lute-like body with a sickle-shaped tuning-head ending in a square with pegs from both sides. The fingerboard was flush with the front and has tied-on gut frets. The rosette is carved in the front or inserted layered parchment, and the bridge fixed. It had either 6 or 12 strings in pairs.

    The Milanese and Lombardic mandolins were the last of the mandolinos. The latter was  built until around 1900. The original Milanese became known as the 'Lombardo' or 'mandore' with the addition of a full raised fingerboard, often oval sound hole, and sometimes a scratch plate. The transition was gradual however, and it is not always easy to attribute a mandolin with one name or the other.

   Antonio Monzino of Milan born in 1725 was a renowned maker of Milanese mandolins. His family made them for 6 generations and some say that it was he who invented this mandolin.

   The early Milanese mandolino would originally have had 6 strings; 3 treble gut strings, and 3 with iron wire wound around silk string for the bass strings. The Lombaric had 6 gut strings and were still tuned like the old mandolino: g  b  e'  a'  d" g"


Lombardic Mandolins

Carlo Albertini, Milan

S. Casini, Firenza

Constant Montani, Milan

Carlo Albertini, Milan

Carisch & Janichen, Milan

Antonio Lavezzari, Bergamo


Serafino Casini 1896 (thanks to Jim Garber)


S. Casini 1894

Brescian by C. Albertini

Fratelli Rossi, Rome

A Monzino & Figli